By Brian Brennan, Photography by Andrew Schear.
STREET RODDER and this year's title sponsor PPG Industries are proud to present the 2004 Road Tour offering. If you have followed along over the past few months you've seen the construction articles by Jay Storer and the first driving articles by Road Tour Chauffeur Jerry Dixey. Remember, by now Jerry has made several cross-country trips and its resting comfortably in Louisville, Kentucky, at the sight of this year's National Street Rod Association's Nationals. Before the weather becomes a bit "rough' for fender less roadsters, Jerry will have driven 25,000 miles and appeared at all 11 NSRA events. (Reports so far from Jerry show that all systems are "go.")
This is the Road Tour's ninth consecutive run and each year the street rod built is better than the last-both more pleasing to the eye and representative of what any rodder could build and drive. The operative word is "drive," as the very foundation of the Road Tour is to prove that a street rod can be driven often, and for many miles. Our goal is to prove that you and your rod can accumulate thousands of trouble-free miles with full confidence that the street rod industry's components are up to the task.
This year's steel-bodied highboy roadster is a Brookville '32 Ford that was fabricated/painted/assembled at Hot Rods & Custom Stuff (HR&CS) located in Escondido, California, and owned by longtime rodders Randy and Peaches Clark. The frame comes from the HR&CS product line, Deuce Steel, that features frame rails with an upswept forward section. This treatment allows the car to maintain a highboy build style, while sitting much lower than a highboy resting on conventional Deuce rails. This "new" stance is reminiscent of a channeled rod with its "low" attitude without yielding and of the interior space so often sacrificed with a channeled rod. Dare we say the best of two worlds-looks and comfort?
From here, Pete & Jake's Hot Rod Parts (P&J) along with Super Bell Axle Co. supplied the traditional front and rear suspension components that include a lightweight Alum-I-Beam drilled axle, P&J Viper shocks, hairpin, batwings, shackles, a Teflon button-fitted transverse leaf spring, and a Panhard bar. Back again from last year's Road Tour is Stainless Steel Brakes Corporation with the Force 10 Elite series (four piston per caliper) billet calipers for the four-wheel-disc brake system. In the front are the 11-inch vented rotors and Elite series. Also in back are a pair of smaller SSBC billet calipers, which serve as parking brakes operated by Lokar E-brake cables.
The power train is based on a 345-inch LS1 EFI engine from GEN III attached to a TCI 4L60-E transmission. The Currie 9-inch Ford rear end (3.70 gears) is outfitted with 31-spline axles and a limited slip. The steering chores fall to Flaming River, which supplied the Vega-style box, column, and Banjo-style wheel. Through these, steering controls a set of Wheel Vintiques slotted billet wheels wrapped with 146R15 rubber in front and P265/70R16 in back.
HR&CS stitched the interior, including the carped and trunk area, while relying on the Wise Guys to supply a '28-34 black leather upholstered bench seat and matching material for the door and kick panels. The seat slides for and aft for driver comfort, while the seat base flips up and the seat back folds forward to allow easy access into additional storage under and behind the seat. Other interior appointments include a Flaming River column and wheel, Lokar floor pedals and emergency brake lever, and a Vintage Air Compac heater and air conditioning unit. A focal point of any interior is the dashboard, and ours features the latest gauge panel from Dakota Digital outfitted with digital instruments. The Dakota panel features "windows" that match the slots in the wheels and this serves to further the traditional theme. Very kool!
Another focal point of any street rod is the lighting. Lights can "light" up or 'destroy" a car's appearance, not to mention functionality. The staff at HR&CS fabricated the evocative headlight stands/shock mounts from stock Deuce headlight bar severed ends and raw steel tubing. They topped the fabricated stands with '34 Ford commercial headlights. The commercial lights aren't quite as big as the originals but they still fill the gap between the grill and the wheel area better than conventional sealed-beam headlights. Stock headlight buckets were stainless, but in our case they were painted in body color. Since the headlights mount lower on the car, the HR&CS crew filled the headlights' stock wire holes and drilled new holes further back in the headlight shells. They spanned the gap between the body and the headlights by fabrication new headlight wire conduits.
In back, '50 Pontiac taillights were a sure hit, but something "extra' was needed. Clark gave it some thought and decided to "french-in" the repro taillights just below the deck lid. (Rumor has it HR&CS is making duplicates of these in fiberglass for use with 'glass or steel bodies.)
However, the piece de resistance on our Rod Tour highboy roadster is the brilliant yellow paint. The most asked question about any Road Tour car, or any feature car in SRM, is, "What's the color and how do I get it?"
The base cost is PPG's Deltron 2000, called DBC for short, and the color is PN 84902-SC or Giallo yellow. The brilliant yellow (you should see it in the daylight!) is fairly "transparent" for a basecoat so, to play it safe, four coats were applies. After a 24-hour "rest," the body was then lightly sanded with 500-grit and shot with another four coats. In all, some 4 gallons of reduced material were applied, because if too few coats of a color like this are applied the yellow can look too green. Several coats of two-part clear coat, which is the last element of the paint system, were applied and then sanded/rubbed to achieve final gloss.
Well, here we go again with the 2004 PPG / STREET RODDER Road Tour highboy Deuce roadster off and running down the highway near you. But the story doesn't end here, oh no. Keep reading each month to follow ol' what's his name (you know, Jerry Dixey!) and see wheat he's up to. Next year is the tenth anniversary of the Road Tour and we think you will thoroughly enjoy what's coming.
Currently available on the newsstand only is a 100-page magazine by SRM that features a much more comprehensive look at the construction of our Road Tour roadster and other outstanding examples of Deuce street rods. It is entitled, The Guide to Building a 1932 Ford Roadster, and is available as you read this article. It contains much more on the Deuce buildup than the series in SRM. Should you want even more detail, make sure to pick up a copy of The Road Tour Manual: Building a 1932 Ford. To find the manual, watch for ads in STREET RODDER or check online at www.streetroderweb.com. Inside you'll find all the secrets of chassis construction, body and paintwork, a complete look at upholstery and wiring, and plenty more.) SR.